Monday 18 March 2019

Album Review: A PALE HORSE NAMED DEATH - When The World Becomes Undone

A Pale Horse Named Death - When The World Becomes Undone

01. As It Begins
02. When The World Becomes Undone
03. Love The Ones You Hate
04. Fell In My Hole
05. Succumbing To The Event Horizon
06. Vultures
07. End Of Days
08. The Woods
09. We All Break Down
10. Lay With The Wicked
11. Splinters
12. Dreams Of The End
13. Closure

For some bizarre reason, this is the first time I've listened to A Pale Horse Named Death. It's bizarre because this band features two ex-members of the legendary Type O Negative. The two ex-Type O Negative members in this band were both their drummers, Johnny Kelly and Sal Abruscato. The latter is the singer and guitarist of A Pale Horse Named Death.  

Type O Negative is a band I've loved for years. The death of Pete Steele left a huge void in the world of music, and I naively hoped that A Pale Horse Named Death could fill it, at least to some degree.

When The World Becomes Undone is their third studio album. One of the first things that hit me is that guitar sound. It was unique to Type O Negative, yet here it is again. I felt the hairs stand up on the back of my neck when the doomy riffing came in.

It's very hard not to keep comparing this band to Type O Negative, because that band's DNA is undeniably weaved into this, especially in terms of production. A more cynical person would say that A Pale Horse Named Death was trying to replicate Type O Negative's unique sound as closely as possible to appeal to their fanbase. I can also hear an Alice In Chains influence here and there too. If someone had told me that there was a band out there that sounded like a hybrid of Alice in Chains and Type O Negative, I think I may have crapped my pants in excitement. Unfortunately, A Pale Horse Named Death falls short of even coming close to being as good as those two classic acts.

The production is first-class and those guitar sounds are divine. However, A Pale Horse Named Death simply don't have the songs. Well, not enough of them anyway. There are way too many dull tracks clogging up this album, and it felt like an ordeal wading through the swamp of Doom, just to get to something memorable.

There are a couple of really good songs on here, such as the trippy Lay With The Wicked, which is the closest thing on here to a hit single and easily my favourite track on the album. The title track has some nice creepy piano work that reminds me a little of early Alice Cooper, before slamming into some riffage that unsurprisingly sounds just like Type O Negative. Love The Ones You Hate is the most upbeat track on the record and has some decent hooks.

Type O Negative's secret weapon was Pete Steele, who was a larger-than-life character as well as an amazing singer. His charisma and dark sense of humour gave their music a sense of fun, dry wit, sex appeal, and a mountain of character. A Pale Horse Named Death just has a few crushing riffs. I wanted to like this record so much, but sadly that void I was talking about earlier remains unfilled.


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